Tune in racing, especially any kind that involves high-speed oval racing, and you’ll hear drivers and crew chiefs chattering about aero push, side drafting and so forth. Aerodynamic efficiency has long stood as a kind of free horsepower craved by the technical types, only achieving it isn’t a cheap exercise anymore. You need extensive evaluation during the development process to determine whether your aerodynamic add-ons are actually going to be effective. To hear Cadillac’s account, that’s what’s occurred with its forthcoming CT4-V Blackwing mega-sedan, due for launch in late summer with a claimed top end of 189 MPH. With that kind of velocity on tap, good grip isn’t just some abstraction that engineers like to discuss. It’s what keeps you from going flying without a pilot’s license.
The Blackwing offers two factory-installed aero packages incorporating extensive use of carbon fiber, which are said to cumulatively provide the CT4-V with the highest level of aerodynamic downforce ever produced by a V-series production Cadillac. It resulted from 500 hours of testing, involving more than 300 simulations, conducted on the five-belt rolling-road wind tunnel at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, and at the Windshear tunnel in North Carolina used by Cadillac Racing for its IMSA program. Among the advances are a front underwing zone, a 3mm Gurney flap on the rear spoiler, a flat underbody and even faired covers to direct air past the rear control arms. That’s a lot of homework. The CT4-V Blackwing powertrain centers on Cadillac’s 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, rated at 472 horsepower. The first reservation run for these cars was booked almost immediately, but a limited supply remains, and you can click here to get on the reservation list.